Federal Appeals Court Rejects Arkansas 12-Week Abortion Ban

May 27, 2015

A federal appeals court has struck down parts of an Arkansas law that sought to ban most abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the viability standard the law cites is becoming more difficult to use because of advances in technology.

The appeals court noted the viability standard was once 28 weeks, but in the Arkansas case was generally considered 24 weeks.

Arkansas lawmakers approved the ban in 2013, after considering a doctor's ability to detect a heartbeat, not the ability of the fetus to survive. A federal judge in Little Rock struck down the law before it took effect, but left in place parts of the law that required doctors to tell women if a fetal heartbeat was present.